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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 2
September 10, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
BUF at JAX MIA at NYJ WAS at ATL SEA at ARZ *CHI at MIN
CLE at BAL *PIT at KC Sun 4 PM *DEN at SD Mon 9 PM
*DET at GB SF at STL CAR at TB NE at PHI DAL at NYG
*HOU at NO *TEN at IND *CIN at OAK Times EST *updated
   
Pittsburgh vs Kansas City Sun, Sep 14; 1 PM on CBS at Arrowhead Stadium
  Pittsburgh Rush Catch Pass
QB Tommy Maddox 0 0 270,3
RB Amos Zereoue 60 20,1 0
RB Jerome Bettis Q Q Q
TE Jay Riemersma 0 30 0
WR Hines Ward 0 100,1 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 20 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 100,1 0
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 230,2
RB Priest Holmes 110,2 40 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 20 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 40 0
WR Marc Boerigter 0 40,1 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 60,1 0


Game Prediction: PIT 24, KC 28

Update: Bettis is still suffering from his groin injury and may not play. Given his minimal use last week, it is safest to avoid him all together this week. Tony Gonzalez's sprained ankle has him listed as questionable on the injury list but he is expected to play this weekend.

The Steelers have gone to a passing offense and the results are just as impressive as last season. Tommy Maddox faced the Ravens defense with Ray Lewis back and still threw for 260 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Hines Ward ended with nine catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns while Plaxico Burress had six catches for 116 yards. That's a formidable one-two punch knocking out one of the better defenses in the NFL.

Amos Zereoue had 15 rushes for 56 yards including one touchdown and shared primarily with Verron Haynes when the game was well in hand in the fourth quarter. Jerome Bettis only had four rushes for 14 yards in a blowout game, an indicator of how far down the pecking order he has gone.

The Steelers defense was treated to the first game for rookie QB Kyle Boller and held him to only 152 yards and one trash time touchdown. The offense is now leading the defense for a change, throwing points on the board and allowing the defense to keep opponents from catching up instead of the old style of ball control that made the defenses design more towards stopping the run.

The addition of Jay Riemersma as a pass catching tight end is also having a good return - not only did Riemersma have a touchdown against the Ravens, but the receivers saw fewer double teams than in the past.

The Chiefs are also enjoying the new season, throttling the Chargers 27-14 and providing an actual defense to pair with Priest Holmes shredding opponents. Holmes signed a four-year agreement with the Chiefs earlier in the week and rewarded his employer's faith by rushing for 85 yards on 18 carries and catching seven balls for 98 more yards while scoring two touchdowns. It was vintage Holmes without a hint of any past injury. He actually did even better but had two long runs called back and was pulled late in the game that was already decided. On Holmes first score from 24 yards out, he was not only untouched but his lead blocker was never in contact with a defender either.

Trent Green threw for 282 yards and had one touchdown to Johnnie Morton just to show how well the game was going. Tony Gonzalez only had two catches for 18 yards but was not needed in the rout and was returning from a knee sprain.

The Kansas City defense stepped up and held LaDainian Tomlinson to only 34 yards rushing and David Boston to only 20 yards receiving. It was a big confidence builder and playing their second game at home again will make this matchup a great one to watch.

This game should go down to the wire and provide some very nice fantasy points along the way. The Steelers have not faced a multidimensional back like Holmes since week four last season when Deuce McAllister shredded them. Look for Priest Holmes to do what he does best - most everything. The Steeler defense will be busy trying to track Holmes enough to allow the passing game stay alive and make the final run to the end of the game a pure offensive treat by both teams. The Chiefs newfound ability to slow the run will force the Steelers to a passing scheme that they want to be in anyway. This is one of the do not miss games of the weekend.

PIT
KC
2003 Averages
KC
PIT
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
260
202
Pass yards
282
152
3
2
Pass TDs
1
1
0
2
Interceptions
1
1
0
15
Rush yards
10
14
0
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
97
35
Rush yards
118
74
1
0
Rush TDs
2
1
8
23
Receive yards
108
17
0
0
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
220
92
Receive yards
156
59
2
1
Receive TD's
1
1
---
---
TE's
---
---
32
64
Receive yards
18
76
1
1
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
PK's
---
---
2
0
Field Goals
2
0
4
2
Extra Points
3
2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1
1
Fumbles
0
1
1
1
Interceptions
2
0
0
0
Touchdowns
0
0
2
3
Sacks
3
3
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Steelers (1-0)
Score Opp.
34-15 BAL
Week 2 @KC
Week 3 @CIN
Week 4 TEN
Week 5 CLE
Week 6 @DEN
Week 7 BYE
Week 8 STL
Week 9 @SEA
Week 10 ARZ
Week 11 @SF
Week 12 @CLE
Week 13 CIN
Week 14 OAK
Week 15 @NYJ
Week 16 SD
Week 17 @BAL
Chiefs (1-0)
Score Opp.
27-14 SD
Week 2 PIT
Week 3 @HOU
Week 4 @BAL
Week 5 DEN
Week 6 @GB
Week 7 @OAK
Week 8 BUF
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 CLE
Week 11 @CIN
Week 12 OAK
Week 13 @SD
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 DET
Week 16 @MIN
Week 17 CHI
(Statistics are game averages from current season )